New six-month coronavirus plan imposes limits on home visits and Dublin pub reopenings

Additional restrictions will be imposed in Dublin on home visits, indoor gatherings, care home visits as well as wet pubs remaining closed under the Government’s new, five-level coronavirus plan.

However, despite Ministers expressing serious concern over a dramatic increase in cases in Dublin in recent weeks, the Cabinet has pulled back from moving the capital to Level 3, instead tailoring a number of extra conditions for the capital without changing the level.

“Current Covid numbers in Dublin are very worrying and the Government today has decided to introduce additional measures (for the capital),” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who said the country would be put on Level 2.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said pubs in 25 counties will reopen as planned on September 21st and that 200 people will be allowed to attend events in large, outdoor stadia, with the possibility of more attending events in a stadium such as Croke Park.

He said the virus incidence has increased ten-fold in Dublin in the past month and unless there are preventative measures there will be “a second wave of hospital admissions, ICU admissions and possible deaths”.

He said Dublin people must follow the four Ws: Do not welcome people from other households. Wash your hands. Watch your distance and keep 2m apart. Wear a facemask.

Under Level 2 of the plan, 50 people can attend an indoor wedding, six people can visit a home and 15 people can gather in a garden.

It was also announced that the Winter Plan Budget would be €600 million, a eight-fold increase on last winter.